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As active cases drop, govt likely to start to free up Covid beds in hosps

Kolkata: With active Covid cases and rate of hospitalisation on the decline since the past few weeks, the state government will start the process of freeing up Covid beds in both government and requisitioned hospitals across Bengal.

Sources in the health department said the beds in the private hospitals, which had been requisitioned for Covid treatment, would be freed up gradually so that more non-Covid patients could be treated.

The same process will be applied for the government-run dedicated Covid hospitals as well. The decisions are being taken by the department as the number of hospitalisations due to Covid has dropped below a certain limit.

According to the health department figure, the occupancy of Covid beds has dropped to 16.69 per cent from around 27 per cent on December 1. This is lowest ever Covid bed occupancy in the last 7 months, suggests the health department data.

There has been a significant dip in the occupancy of beds within a quick span of time. On November 1, the occupancy of Covid beds in different hospitals stood at 35.09 per cent. The figure remained at 35.45 per cent and 33.08 per cent on October 1 and September 1 respectively. The occupancy in Covid beds had reached 39.05 per cent on August 1, whereas on July 1 the figure stood at 23.11 per cent. The figure dropped at as low as 19.09 per cent on June 1.

State Health department had introduced nearly 14,000 beds for dedicated Covid treatment in various hospitals. The government had requisitioned around 3,400 beds in private hospitals. According to the health department, out of around 3,359 Covid and isolation beds in various private hospitals in the state, more than 1,822 beds are vacant. In case of government designated Covid hospitals, out of total 13,588 beds, more than 11,274 are lying vacant.

Single day infection in the two majorly hit districts like North 24-Parganas and Kolkata has gone down considerably. As per health bulletin of December 20, the fresh

infections in Kolkata dropped to 468. In North 24-Parganas, the infections dropped

to 427.

On December 9, the city's daily figure rose up to 753 and in North 24-Parganas it increased to 746. There has been a sharp fall in less than 2 weeks. On December 19, Kolkata registered 539 new cases and North 24-Parganas saw 485 cases only.

It may be mentioned that the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), which was dedicated for Covid treatment, already opened its various disciplines for non-Covid treatment. The health department is assessing the situation on the basis of which Covid beds in various government hospitals will be freed on priority basis, a senior health official said. Most of the 'Safe Homes' in various districts and suburban areas were also lying vacant.

This gives a major sigh of relief to the senior health department officials.

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